The emphasis at this year’s event lay in networks and consortium projects
As the Network continues to expand, communication and successful networking become the key challenges. Both issues were the focal topics discussed at this year’s Steinbeis Day. More than 200 Steinbeis directors, project managers, and other employees from the Steinbeis Network came to the Steinbeis House in Hohenheim (Stuttgart).
A series of workshops was organized to provide Steinbeisers with insights into the various specialist topics currently being looked at in Steinbeis Network projects. The breadth of topics covered by Steinbeis enterprises was also reflected by the issues discussed at the workshops, from agile innovation techniques (discussed by experts from bwcon) to the factors influencing efficient risk management (discussed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Aleksandar Jovanovic, Steinbeis Advanced Risk Technologies, and Dr. Andrej Heinke of Bosch). Heinz Pohler talked about a specialist group within the Steinbeis Network that looks at future energy supplies. The Steinbeis Consulting Center he manages, 4IES, is just one of four partners at the Steinbeis Competence Center for Sustainable Energy (KNE).
Uwe Haug (Steinbeis Headquarters) and Harel Boren (Steinbeis Israel) revealed the level of international collaboration possible within the Steinbeis Network. One perfect example of cross-border technology transfer between different companies comes from a startup in Tel Aviv: tinyinspektor. A workshop organized by a team of consultants from Steinbeis Headquarters demonstrated how consultants and companies in Germany can attract financial support for innovative concepts and business startups. The workshop received a tremendous reception, underscoring the strength of interest from all sides in this area. This was also highlighted by a team of presenters from Steinbeis 2i, which ran a workshop revolving around the administrative and financial aspects of managing Horizon 2020 projects. Steinbeis 2i also functions as one of the first ports of call for such projects in the Steinbeis Network and during the workshop it provided an overview of training on contractual arrangements, budgeting, and communicating with the European Commission.
A team of scientists at the Ferdinand-Steinbeis-Institute (FSTI) presented an update on current research into digital solutions and networking. Another important topic was the series of micro testbed projects currently under way in the Network. SMEs from a variety of sectors have formed a partnership with the Steinbeis Digital Business Consortium to work together on a neutrally moderated “Forum of Trust.” The idea is to translate value creation scenarios into real business settings. Further scientific input was provided by a team from the Steinbeis Enterprise Competence Check (ECC) which offered an introduction to a tool called ECC Research. The software makes it possible to carry out simple, yet methodically and contextually sound assessments and evaluations based on ECC principles.
Dr. Petra Püchner (Steinbeis 2i) and Beate Wittkopp (the TransferWorks BW Steinbeis Transfer Center) provided insights into innovation processes. Following the successful launch of their Steinbeis initiative, An Alternative View of Innovation – Women in Technology Transfer, further parties interested in the future network attended a workshop at the Steinbeis Day to identify overlaps and explore different skills.
All projects and networks within the Steinbeis Network are open to newcomers, whether they were only recently launched at the Steinbeis Day or have been running for longer.